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Division II celebrates 10 years of FAR Institutes

Nominations for this year’s event due March 15

Faculty athletic representatives who have attended the Division II FAR Institute gathered at the NCAA Convention to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the program.

In 2001, Diane Husic was president of the Faculty Athletics Representative Association, a professor and a former college athlete who knew well the unique challenges facing FARs. She had been serving in the FAR capacity at a Division II campus since 1989 and understood that, by its nature, the faculty liaison role was a “one-man or one-woman show.” 

But these faculty representatives needed more structure , Husic recognized. They needed more guidance, more visibility, more leadership opportunities, she thought. FARA already hosted an orientation for new FARs each fall, but what else could be done in Division II specifically?

In 2005, Husic guided the division to its answer: the Division II Faculty Athletics Representatives Leadership Institute. The training brings more than a dozen FARs together over one weekend to share ideas, learn best practices and build a network with others in the role.

This year, Division II is celebrating 10 years of the institute. And in each of those years, Husic, a former Division II swimmer who is now a professor at Moravian College, where she is chair of the biological sciences department, quietly worked behind the scenes to pull the event together. Division II staff, administrators, faculty and student-athletes joined in thanking Husic and celebrating the anniversary at the NCAA National Convention.

“I may be biased, but I think these leadership institutes are part of the distinctive characteristics that make Division II so great,” Husic told the crowd.

Diane Husic, who has organized the FAR Institute since it began, speaks about the program at the NCAA Convention.

Since their inception, the division’s institutes have served more than 170 FARs, and more than 30 have received additional training from two advanced Institutes. The model has inspired similar programs in Divisions I and III.

Many of the participants have gone on to serve in leadership roles throughout the NCAA. All eight FARs now serving on the Division II Management Council previously attended one or more institutes – including the chair, Timothy Ladd of Palm Beach Atlantic University, who after attending multiple institutes went on to serve  on the steering committee.

Julia Beeman, an assistant professor at Belmont Abbey College and a member of the Management Council, said the FAR Institute gave her the tools and network “to build strong relationships among faculty, athletics, administrators and students” on her campus as well as make an impact at the national level. “I don’t think I would have been nearly as successful without the knowledge gained and the encouragement provided through the institute,” she said.

For Kevin Schriver, a Southwest Baptist University FAR who also serves on Management Council, the experience helped him understand the larger reach of athletics. “The whole of the university must be committed to compliance issues, student-athlete issues and image issues in association with the academic aspects of collegiate athletics,” Schriver said. “The institute has assisted me in continuing to develop on our campus a sense of unity around the world of athletics.”

The 2015 FAR Institute will be held Oct. 2-4 in Indianapolis. Nominations are due by March 15.